Anastasia Hille in The Abandoned (2006)

Old School Haunted House

Marie (Anastasia Hille) was born in Russia during the 60s but was adopted as a baby and raised in the States, but she now finds herself back in Russia after a lawyer tracked her down. It turns out that her biological parents have died and she has inherited their farm house although when she goes to see what she now owns discovers that many will not go anywhere near it due to local legend and the one person who will take her their vanishes as soon as they arrive. But Marie discovers she is not alone as a man appears claiming to be her twin brother who has been lured there like she has and there are a couple of spooky characters wandering around causing Marie to try and work out what is going on.

"The Abandoned" is a haunted house movie, plain a simple. The house is in the middle of nowhere in an area where people won't go, it has that run down creepy look and it sets up some mystery over its history. But it is a haunted house movie, a good old fashioned haunted house movie where things which flick across the screen are meant to put us on edge as is the darkness of the place. The thing about "The Abandoned" is that it isn't anything else, it is just a haunted house movie so we have no teens getting high or comedy from self referential humour it is one creepy scene after another as we try to make sense of it all whilst dealing with the frights. As such there is no light or shade in the story telling and it becomes little more than wait for the next moment of horror and mystery to present itself.

Being such a singular thing is actually the problem "The Abandoned" has as audiences are not use to such a one thing only movie and with out the variation it becomes hard work. In fact "The Abandoned" starts to become a movie of well constructed scenes with some classical shock moments but little to connect it together and draw you in. I know I found it hard work due to its almost minimal narrative but at the same time I was strangely impressed by it all and hooked on getting through it too not only just find out what is going on but to see if anyone actually gets out of their alive.

What this all boils down to is that "The Abandoned" is a good movie but has a narrative, style and genre focus which is not going to be everyone's taste and if it isn't it ends up a beautifully shot movie but one which doesn't always command your attention although still keeps you watching out of a need to know how it ends.